Denver, CO (January 31, 2020) – The new Aurora Central Recreation Center, constructed by Adolfson & Peterson Construction (AP), won the first-place award in the Sports/Entertainment Category of the ENR Best of the Best Competition.
The competition began last March with a call for entries from the construction industry that resulted in 918 project teams submitting their work to the regional Best Projects Competitions. In each of the 10 regions, the editors assembled panels of judges to select winners in 20 categories organized by market sector.
After the regional winners were chosen, the regional first-place winners in each category moved up to the national competition—around 200 projects in total. An entirely new group of 14 judges from across the country and from all walks of the industry examined each project to determine the best of the best in terms of teamwork, safety, overcoming challenges, innovation and quality.
The Aurora Central Recreation Center was the first new facility in the City of Aurora in 40 years. Even though Aurora is the third most populous city in Colorado, there was a struggle to raise enough funds for a much-needed new recreation center. The controversial Amendment 64 to legalize marijuana for recreational use changed the economic dynamics of Colorado, and in 2014, commercial sale of marijuana was allowed and resulted in a new revenue stream for many of the state’s municipalities. In less than a year, Aurora was able to fund the new $30M recreation center entirely with marijuana tax revenue.
The result is a 61,250-sf facility that is art in and of itself. Instead of traditional egress stairways, the center’s concrete grandstand functions as egress, seating and aerobic exercise to stair-climb. An exceptional 38’ floating staircase required utmost concrete-expertise to build and it serves as a unique and functional art piece.
Unique amenities such as a wave pool (the first for a municipality in Colorado) and an interactive slide (the first of its kind in North America) have made the place an entertainment mecca. The City dedicated almost half a million dollars to custom art, integrated into the building itself, requiring strategic construction planning for proper integration. The facility supports new program opportunities with an escape room, the fitness grandstand, an outdoor fitness balcony and a teaching kitchen.